Friday, March 26, 2010

Studio Happenings and Viovio Review

Yesterday I resolved this painting:
Bad Raccoons

I started this one and almost finished it, but instead I decided to take a rest before giving a private lesson:
I also primed these:
My second proof arrived from viovio yesterday:  
Their products are a fantastic value, but their customer service is rather sketchy and somewhat flighty in certain respects.  For example, on the viovio website, it is clearly stated that books under 20 pages will be saddle stitched (like a magazine) because they are too small to be perfect bound.  At the same time, the viovio website also strongly recommends formatting all full page spreads with an overlap in the gutter.  It seemed to me that saddle stitched books would be an exception to this rule.  I asked if this was the case on the viovio forums, and received a stunningly useless non answer referring me to the webpage that had inspired my question in the first place.  So I decided to order two versions of the same book: one with the overlap and one without.  When they arrived I saw that my suspicions were correct, and that saddle stitched spreads should not be reformatted.  To viovio's credit, they did eventually respond to an email that I had sent, in which I had repeated the question I'd posted on the forum.  The representative who responded wrote that she thought that I was probably correct. See what I mean about flighty?  In any case, I had my clear answer in the results from my own little experiment.  Now that my binding issues were happily resolved, I decided to work on a few color issues and redesign my cover.  So yesterday, when the second proof arrived, I was happy to see that I'd done a much better job with the color and cover design.  But here's the mysterious and sort of infuriating part: the new book, which is precisely the same length as the first version, was perfect bound.  This made the spreads look a little bit wonky.  But I ordered fifteen copies anyway, and included a note reminding them that it should be (according to their own policies) saddle stitched.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.  In short, Viovio offers great products at ridiculously low prices.  Unfortunately, in my humble experience, their customer service is also ridiculous.  

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